A New Church Building, St. Joan of Arc Parish

Adapted from "Saint Joan of Arc Parish Diamond Anniversary 1920-1995"
Copyright (c) 1995, St. Joan of Arc Parish


William P. McCorristin
Pastor (1950-1965)

Father Joseph V. McCorristin was succeeded by his cousin, Rev. William P. McCorristin as pastor in April of 1950. After arriving, Father Bill immediately set as his goal the completion of the parishioners' and Father Joe's dream.

Two new buildings, the church and a rectory were built on the original plots on Alabama Road.

The rectory, a new 6,099 square foot building was completed on September 1, 1951, at a cost of $79,893.

The new 76,767 square foot church, a concrete block and brick veneer building was completed on December 31, 1951 at a cost of $107,006. It was dedicated on January 20, 1952.

St. Joan of Arc Rectory

3107 Alabama Road

The new church was built on the original dirt playground used in that capacity for the original school and the rectory was built at the other extreme end of the plots.

In March, 1954, alterations to the original building and the addition of new classrooms at a cost of $62,128, were made. Upon completion in September, classroom facilities doubled along with the enrollment of the student body which now exceeded four hundred.

It was also during Father Bill's tenure that the shrine to the blessed Mother was completed on the church grounds in 1954, in honor of the Marian Year. At the same time, the convent was renovated and stone facing was applied to its exterior.

St. Joan of Arc Church (Completed December 31, 1951)

Photo by MJRuiz, October 11, 2001

Shrine to the Blessed Mother (Completed 1954)

In January 1965, Father Bill McCorristin was transferred to St. Paul's Parish in Stone Harbor, NJ.

Father Bill was succeeded by Msgr. Thomas H. Sharkey. Msgr. Sharkey, along with his brother Msgr. George Sharkey, had grown up in Fairview as parishioners of St. Joan of Arc. Both had been students at the parish school and both had celebrated their First Masses at St. Joan of Arc.

Msgr. Tom Sharkey has said: "The inherent goodness of Father Joe (McCorristin) impressed me most during my youth. He was loved by everyone and was an excellent speaker and a very kind and warm perons. He was a key influence on the number of vocations which came out of the parish."

The massive layoffs and eventual shutdown of New Ship Shipbuilding Corporation affected the lives of our parishioners during the 1960s. However, there was not the severe economic conditions of the depression years. Most of the former shipyard employees found work at RCA, Campbell Soup, the Philadelphia Navy Yard and the Langston Company. Others went into the building trades. So while there was economic shifting and stress and strain on the families, parish life remained stable.

Sunday Mass at St. Joan of Arc Church

Photo by MJRuiz, October 14, 2001

Pre-Vatican Council (before c. 1965)

From "Saint Joan of Arc Diamond Anniversary 1920-1995," p. 22

The Rectory c. 1970

From "Saint Joan of Arc Golden Anniversary 1920-1970," p. 15